Michelin Alley takes a deeper look at the GT Le Mans teams’ performances at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Risi Competizione Ferrari finished best of the rest behind the Fords and Corvettes.
Risi Competizione Ferrari
Car: Ferrari 488 GTE
Drivers: 62-Alessandro Pier Guidi/Toni Vilander/James Calado/Davide Rigon
2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona Started/Finished: 62-7th/5th
Laps Led: 0
Fastest Laps: 1:44.008 (62-Calado, 1st)
Recap: A top-five finish wasn’t necessarily the goal for Risi Ferrari, but it was a decent result after a couple challenges the team fought through during the race. Race pace was solid with James Calado turning in the first fastest lap of the year. The Ferrari edged ahead of a three-way battle between it, Porsche and BMW for the top marque from outside Detroit.
Turning Point: Risi fought through a handful of various challenges. Whether it was a door latch issue, a struggle to build pressures or engine sensor problems, Risi lost several laps.
Notes: This ends a run of Risi’s three straight podium finishes to end the 2017 season.
Quotes: “Other GTLMs had better BoP’s (Balance of Performance) and we just couldn’t match their performance,” explained Risi chief engineer Rick Mayer. “I think we had a fifth-place car. I don’t think we could have beaten the Fords or Corvettes and probably the Porches, if they hadn’t had issues.
“But, in the end that wasn’t the only deficient, electrical problems with the engine put us in the pits a few times.
“Sometimes those things happen and you have to deal with them the best you can. The unusual lack of full course cautions (for Daytona) made it impossible to get back on the lead lap.
“We found ourselves in an ironic situation. Our Ferrari is very light on its tires and that is almost always an advantage, but the race conditions were such that it took almost an entire stint to build rear tire pressures. We were in a knife-edge situation and had to hit an unusually narrow tire start pressure range to not damage the tires while warming them up and still achieve optimal race performance.”